HC Deb 25 May 1978 vol 950 cc1722-3
2. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek to exempt from vehicle duty all persons entitled to mobility allowance.

Mr. Denzil Davies

No, sir. Exemption from vehicle excise duty would be inequitable because it would benefit only those recipients of mobility allowance who are able, and choose, to run a car.

Mr. Jenkins

Does my right hon. Friend accept that while it would be impossible for me to deploy in a supplementary question the arguments against what he has just said, those arguments will be fully deployed in Committee on the Finance Bill? Will he then listen to them and entertain the possibility that he may be persuaded to change his mind?

Mr. Davies

I have no doubt that many arguments will be deployed in the Finance Bill Committee on this and other matters. We shall listen to them carefully. I remind my hon. Friend, however, that the change to mobility allowance was made because of the injustice of the old system, and that now all those receiving mobility allowance do not necessarily have to employ a motor car.

Mr. Hannam

Does the right hon. Gentleman accept that a normal disabled person receiving mobility allowance and paying taxation, combined with value added tax and all the other duties payable, will be giving back to the Treasury over £380 of the £500 mobility allowance that he is receiving? Bearing in mind that six other European countries give exemption from vehicle excise duty, will the right hon. Gentleman accept that it is essential for the success of motability to have this exemption?

Mr. Davies

The hon. Gentleman is not comparing like with like. The important point is that from July there will be a £10 mobility allowance, a substantial increase on the mobility allowance originally introduced. This is of great help to disabled people whether they use a car or not.